Supporting your employees in a work environment that is severely affected by an outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) should include some necessary adjustments to your routine. Managers can provide accurate and timely information about a pandemic, link workers to rapidly changing policies, foster peer support, and provide resources to relieve stress and to cope.
With keeping all this in mind, one can easily overcome any situation and can even maintain the business easily.
For workers who have a strong negative impact from an outbreak (eg., workers who are closely exposed to loss, illness, moral stress, or long-term wear and tear), here are some additional suggestions and the points that even many companies are following.
Be patient: Stress reactions for those most affected by the COVID-19 outbreak may persist for some time. Sharing such imperative thoughts with your employees can help them stay calm and easy. There may be fluctuations in how well they can do the job. Sometimes they can work well at work, and other times they feel they can't work well. It may take some time for them to "get normal" and sometimes feel discouraged. If you share that these reactions are expected, they are valued employees, and that you can move forward together, you can reduce a lot of misunderstandings and conflicts.
Believe in the person: People are often very self-critical in dealing with intense stress, especially those who have been very successful at work in the past. They will benefit if you continue to believe in them without putting too much pressure on them. It requires the ability to listen and be allowed to be both a functioning worker and a person experiencing severe stress. It can be a relief for an employee to see that you keep them in the same record as before, but you can adjust your expectations as needed.
Be a role model: If an employee is dealing with significant annoyance and needs leave or other adjustments, you can play an essential role while respecting confidentiality. This means a long-term perspective and not engaging in speculation or negative conversations about people when they are not there.
Advise and Suggest: If an employee shows that they have serious difficulties, it helps them identify specific problems and needs additional support or need mental health treatment. The most common reactions that are likely to affect mental, emotional, social, and physical functioning can be identified from the most appropriate person (e.g., supervisor, EAP provider, HR manager, etc.). The inability to perform regular duties during the months of the crisis can be a complicated or long-term stress-related illness. There are effective evidence-based therapies that can reduce suffering and speed recovery.
Together with a Team: If an employee lacks behind, helping each other can be the best solution for every situation in this pandemic. So, making your employees understand what they mean to you and your business can make them work together and stay strong and connected for a longer time.
Your leadership during a COVID-19 pandemic is critical to your organization, and your own well-being is paramount if you want to do your job safely and well. Your role model can have a significant impact on how your employees value taking care of themselves. Remember to use the basic principles of stress first aid for your own care as well. Make it clear to family and friends how they can support you right now. If you need additional help, consider contacting a peer or mentor who may have had experience in similar situations, or consider using an employee support program (EAP) or other possible support services if needed.